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Old 07-27-2018, 05:38 AM
 
6 posts, read 9,126 times
Reputation: 18

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We have a two year old daughter who is an only child. We have struggled with childcare since her birth. We didn't want to do daycare if we didn't have to, but no one in our families were available to watch her. I work from home and tried keeping her at home with me while I worked but that was a disaster. We can't afford a nanny. After one year of struggling and having problems at work because of it, my mom offered to watch her on the agreement that we would pay her several hundred dollars each month. My mom said she would not come to our house and we would need to bring our daughter over there which is over an hour commute time with traffic going her way. Going our way towards our house it is not as bad, but she refused to come to our house to watch her. She started out watching her five days a week and initially all was good.

After a couple months my mom starting canceling on us at the last minute, often when I had already woken my daughter up early and was driving to my mom's house in traffic. She would call me ten minutes before I was supposed to be there and say that she was sick or dizzy and couldn't watch the baby that day. I understand these things happen, but it started happening at least once a month. She would then decline to watch our daughter for 2-3 days at a time while she recovered. This put a huge strain on us because either me or my husband had to take the day off work so we could watch our daughter. She never apologized and when I tried talking to her about it became very defensive and hostile. She did not understand why my spouse and I couldn't just take off work at the last minute multiple times a month and told me if it was a problem then I needed to call my back up sitter on those days. I tried stressing to her that we didn't have a back up sitter (we literally have no one else) but she wouldn't listen. She truly did not understand why my spouse and I couldnt just take off work every time she felt sick or dizzy and even told me if it was that much of a problem then maybe I needed to quit my job and just stay home with our daughter.

We started to notice when we dropped our daughter off or picked her up that my mom was making my dad do everything. When we arrived, my mom would be sitting in her lounger and never once got up but told my dad to get the baby's bag for us and pack it up and help us to/from the car. My dad is elderly and has a lot of health problems and should not be doing this. My mom is still healthy and agile. Every time we showed up, my mom was sitting in that chair and never once got up.

A couple months ago our daughter started coming home with bruises and scratches on her body almost every week. My mom told us it was typical toddler injuries and she had fallen down while running or playing. Initially it was understandable and we didn't question it, but it continues to happen. My mom was never abusive with me growing up and rarely spanked me and my brother, so she is not a violent person and we had no reason to question her. One night when my husband and I were playing with our daughter, she walked away and started playing like she was crying and hanging her head down. She then walked over to us and started saying, "I'm bad". We have no idea where she learned this because we never tell her that she is bad. She would also start acting like she was yelling and would wag her fingers in our faces which is something else we never do with her. This was very strange and disturbing.

Two days ago my mom again called and said she was sick at the last minute and couldn't watch the baby. She then called us later in the day and said she was suddenly feeling much better and to bring her the next morning. When I dropped her off yesterday morning, my mom told me that she and my dad have decided to take a weeks long vacation out of state in the next couple of weeks and so I would need to make other plans for my daughter that week. I told my mom I didn't have weeks worth of PTO saved up and wouldn't within a couple weeks so I couldn't stay home with her. I asked her if she could give me some time to save up some days off, but she continued to say that they were going out of town.

Later that day she called me and said there had been an accident and our daughter had stuck her hand in the refrigerator door and crushed it while she was closing the door. I called my husband and told him and we were both so furious. We immediately drove to my mom's and picked her up. My mom told us it wasn't a big deal and that our daughter hadnt even cried when it happened. When we got in the car the first thing our daughter did was start showing us her hand and saying, "crying, hurts". Luckily her hand was okay and not broken, but it is bruised and red. Was she not paying attention to where my daughter was?

My husband and I talked about it and agreed enough is enough. We decided we will just do the daycare route and feel this will be better for everyone involved. We can stop having to miss so many days off work and whatever is going on with my mom and daughter will stop. I sent a message to my mom explaining the decision and that we would not be leaving our daughter alone with her again. Within a few minutes she responded and it was not good. She said my husband is no longer welcome in her home and she blames him for doing this to her. She went on to say she has no purpose in living anymore and that our daughter was what was keeping her going. She blasted us and said such ugly things. She said she never wants to see or talk with my husband ever again and blamed him for the whole situation (they have never gotten along, but that's a whole separate post).

I am so exhausted with this whole situation. My mom acts like she doesn't want to watch our daughter and when we say we will make other plans, has a huge blowout and says she will never speak to my husband again. I don't understand what is going on with her. I just know we need a more stable arrangement that doesnt cancel on us multiple times a month, is closer to home, and where our daughter isn't "falling down" as often. My mom is now furious with us and is not speaking to either of us. This is so incredibly frustrating. I never meant to keep my daughter away from her and want her to have a relationship with my mom and dad. We just need safe and stable childcare.
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Old 07-27-2018, 05:57 AM
 
12,913 posts, read 19,792,997 times
Reputation: 33920
Yes, you do need other arrangements, for your own sanity and your daughter's safety. There is no need to berate your mother or list her faults, it isn't working out. The End.

This subject comes up fairly often here and the advice rarely wavers. Do not have children with the expectation that the grandparents want to be full time sitters. Even if they "think" they do, it's exhausting and reality will set in.

However, after two years, your mother deserved a face-to-face conversation as to why you've decided to go with daycare, not dismissal by text. Good luck restoring peace.
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Old 07-27-2018, 06:27 AM
 
6 posts, read 9,126 times
Reputation: 18
As mentioned above, there was no expectation that my mother would watch our daughter. We did not have kids "expecting" that from her. As mentioned above, we tried other options for a full year before my mother stepped in and offered herself to help us. We initially did tell her no as we did not "expect" this from her. At that time she threw a major temper tantrum and did not talk to us for weeks after we told her no. So to "restore the peace" we caved in and said okay. The above post was what started to happen afterwards. This was not an "expected" arrangement. As for texting my mom, you do not know our relationship and contact preferences. My mom is hard to reach by phone and we did try calling her to set up a "face to face". My mom prefers texting and very rarely calls me. She constantly texts. I came here for help. Don't presume and state it was "expected". We are trying to find advice on how to deal with her feelings of rejection after begging us to watch our daughter and her now cutting us off after what has happened. We don't want a broken family and wanted advice on how to handle it. It was never "expected" that she would watch her and we never once asked her to. She would have extreme upset when we tried to find another arrangement. That is what we are asking for help with.
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Old 07-27-2018, 07:40 AM
 
Location: Orlando
1,792 posts, read 2,386,539 times
Reputation: 6417
Your primary focus at this point should be on finding safe, reliable daycare for your child. Yes, it's expensive -- there's no getting around that.

After you do that, you can work on your relationship with your mother. Is her erratic behavior something new? Or has she always been like this? If it's a recent development, she may have health issues going on.
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Old 07-27-2018, 08:33 AM
 
6 posts, read 9,126 times
Reputation: 18
That's just it. We have a program near our home that we have toured several times in the last month and we loved it. It's not a matter of us not having anywhere to send her now. It was a problem a year ago when my mom first offered, but we have continued looking over the last year and now have a great program. In the last month whenever I would mention the possibility of sending her to this program, my mom would literally start crying and saying she didn't understand what she was doing wrong and why we wanted to send our daughter somewhere else. So we felt bad and continued to let my mom watch her and as you read above, it continued going downhill until we put our foot down yesterday. We understand it's not expected for her to watch our daughter. We just have no idea how to deal with her feelings and shutting us out for choosing to send our daughter to daycare. That's is our concern.

Thank you for the comment on her health. I had not thought of that. She is 67 and has always been in great health. Maybe something is going on there and she hasn't mentioned it. She is very active and constantly moving and doing her hobbies. Participates weekly in groups at her church. She hasn't mentioned anything about feeling bad. She has always been eccentric in personality and can be a tad dramatic but nothing like this. Maybe if this can blow over a bit I can try to talk to her about it. We just don't understand. I read a lot of posts on here of grandparents feeling taken advantage of because their children expected them to be babysitters. We are trying to be responsible and put her in a program and she is mad and shutting us out for it. We would never cut off contact from her and I don't understand why she is doing that to us.
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Old 07-27-2018, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Bloomington IN
5,865 posts, read 7,089,766 times
Reputation: 14091
Giver her some time to cool off a bit (a week or two since she's going out of town). When she returns sit down with her and explain that you thought it was best for your relationship that you put your daughter in a program. Tell her you feel like it was creating stress for everyone and you didn't want that for her, your daughter or you.
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Old 07-27-2018, 09:12 AM
 
2,445 posts, read 1,050,580 times
Reputation: 9501
Id suggest you leave things be for a wee bit and not try to fix this, or plead or placate. Let things settle and after you’ve got your daughter settled in a day care call your mother and ask if she’d like to meet for lunch to talk or visit a counselor together. Rather than focus on her inconsistencies or what she seemed to want just state you were concerned about how exhausting a 2 year old is and you were hoping they could enjoy time with their grandchild without the burden of wearing a day care hat.

If you’re mother is still pouting and being non communicative then that will be her choice. My mother used to bad mouth my husband , who still after 42 years of marriage a sweetheart man and father, and I told my mother I won’t listen to it. I reminded her that I don’t sit by and let anyone bad mouth her and this policy applies to my husband. I told her this is her problem and between her and my husband, and to leave me out of it.
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Old 07-27-2018, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Early America
1,464 posts, read 691,735 times
Reputation: 3112
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjfrog17 View Post
We have a two year old daughter who is an only child. We have struggled with childcare since her birth. We didn't want to do daycare if we didn't have to, but no one in our families were available to watch her. I work from home and tried keeping her at home with me while I worked but that was a disaster. We can't afford a nanny. After one year of struggling and having problems at work because of it, my mom offered to watch her on the agreement that we would pay her several hundred dollars each month. My mom said she would not come to our house and we would need to bring our daughter over there which is over an hour commute time with traffic going her way. Going our way towards our house it is not as bad, but she refused to come to our house to watch her. She started out watching her five days a week and initially all was good.

After a couple months my mom starting canceling on us at the last minute, often when I had already woken my daughter up early and was driving to my mom's house in traffic. She would call me ten minutes before I was supposed to be there and say that she was sick or dizzy and couldn't watch the baby that day. I understand these things happen, but it started happening at least once a month. She would then decline to watch our daughter for 2-3 days at a time while she recovered. This put a huge strain on us because either me or my husband had to take the day off work so we could watch our daughter. She never apologized and when I tried talking to her about it became very defensive and hostile. She did not understand why my spouse and I couldn't just take off work at the last minute multiple times a month and told me if it was a problem then I needed to call my back up sitter on those days. I tried stressing to her that we didn't have a back up sitter (we literally have no one else) but she wouldn't listen. She truly did not understand why my spouse and I couldnt just take off work every time she felt sick or dizzy and even told me if it was that much of a problem then maybe I needed to quit my job and just stay home with our daughter.

We started to notice when we dropped our daughter off or picked her up that my mom was making my dad do everything. When we arrived, my mom would be sitting in her lounger and never once got up but told my dad to get the baby's bag for us and pack it up and help us to/from the car. My dad is elderly and has a lot of health problems and should not be doing this. My mom is still healthy and agile. Every time we showed up, my mom was sitting in that chair and never once got up.

A couple months ago our daughter started coming home with bruises and scratches on her body almost every week. My mom told us it was typical toddler injuries and she had fallen down while running or playing. Initially it was understandable and we didn't question it, but it continues to happen. My mom was never abusive with me growing up and rarely spanked me and my brother, so she is not a violent person and we had no reason to question her. One night when my husband and I were playing with our daughter, she walked away and started playing like she was crying and hanging her head down. She then walked over to us and started saying, "I'm bad". We have no idea where she learned this because we never tell her that she is bad. She would also start acting like she was yelling and would wag her fingers in our faces which is something else we never do with her. This was very strange and disturbing.

Two days ago my mom again called and said she was sick at the last minute and couldn't watch the baby. She then called us later in the day and said she was suddenly feeling much better and to bring her the next morning. When I dropped her off yesterday morning, my mom told me that she and my dad have decided to take a weeks long vacation out of state in the next couple of weeks and so I would need to make other plans for my daughter that week. I told my mom I didn't have weeks worth of PTO saved up and wouldn't within a couple weeks so I couldn't stay home with her. I asked her if she could give me some time to save up some days off, but she continued to say that they were going out of town.

Later that day she called me and said there had been an accident and our daughter had stuck her hand in the refrigerator door and crushed it while she was closing the door. I called my husband and told him and we were both so furious. We immediately drove to my mom's and picked her up. My mom told us it wasn't a big deal and that our daughter hadnt even cried when it happened. When we got in the car the first thing our daughter did was start showing us her hand and saying, "crying, hurts". Luckily her hand was okay and not broken, but it is bruised and red. Was she not paying attention to where my daughter was?

My husband and I talked about it and agreed enough is enough. We decided we will just do the daycare route and feel this will be better for everyone involved. We can stop having to miss so many days off work and whatever is going on with my mom and daughter will stop. I sent a message to my mom explaining the decision and that we would not be leaving our daughter alone with her again. Within a few minutes she responded and it was not good. She said my husband is no longer welcome in her home and she blames him for doing this to her. She went on to say she has no purpose in living anymore and that our daughter was what was keeping her going. She blasted us and said such ugly things. She said she never wants to see or talk with my husband ever again and blamed him for the whole situation (they have never gotten along, but that's a whole separate post).

I am so exhausted with this whole situation. My mom acts like she doesn't want to watch our daughter and when we say we will make other plans, has a huge blowout and says she will never speak to my husband again. I don't understand what is going on with her. I just know we need a more stable arrangement that doesnt cancel on us multiple times a month, is closer to home, and where our daughter isn't "falling down" as often. My mom is now furious with us and is not speaking to either of us. This is so incredibly frustrating. I never meant to keep my daughter away from her and want her to have a relationship with my mom and dad. We just need safe and stable childcare.
What? Aren't you the poster who just had a thread (now gone) in Parenting about how awful your 2 year old's behavior is?
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Old 07-27-2018, 10:42 AM
 
2,445 posts, read 1,050,580 times
Reputation: 9501
The other problem may be that she was regarding babysitting as doing you a favour vs you thinking she was fulfilling traditional daycare duties , so perhaps there was some expectations on both sides that were not discussed and a lack of communication hence frustration for everyone.
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Old 07-27-2018, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,481 posts, read 15,913,707 times
Reputation: 38756
Quote:
Originally Posted by WellShoneMoon View Post
Your primary focus at this point should be on finding safe, reliable daycare for your child. Yes, it's expensive -- there's no getting around that.

After you do that, you can work on your relationship with your mother. Is her erratic behavior something new? Or has she always been like this? If it's a recent development, she may have health issues going on.
Your mother is 67 and her husband has health issues. I am not saying that either are too old to provide some child care but, IMHO, for most people that age caring for a toddler full time is just too exhausting and stressful. It may even be jeopardizing their health.

I am 66 and have quite a few friends my age who occasionally provide child care. One does it one day per week, for a then baby/now toddler, and has confided that while she is fine that day, she is completely exhausted by it and needs a few days to recover.

Several friends do it two days per week (both with preteens not active toddlers) and both say that is the absolute maximum that they can handle, and still keep their own health.

Another, provides a three half days of child care, for their two elementary age grandchildren. He and his wife usually need to go to bed at 8 PM those nights.

While, these are just anecdotal examples, they definitely show a pattern. I strongly suspect that your mother saw that you had trouble with child care and wanted to help, but had no idea how physically and emotionally demanding it would be on her & her spouse. Instead of being honest with you about it she started to call in sick and give you clues that it was just too much for her.

PS. I am not sure why your mother overreacted to you asking her not to babysit any more. Could you have said, or implied, that she was "too old" or "too feeble" or even in a "cognitive decline"? Those are not things that should be said in a text or email. A better choice of words would have been "we need care that is closer to our house and is available every day".
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